Apple has informed developers that beginning June 1, 2016, all Apple Watch apps submitted to the App Store must be native apps created with the watchOS 2 SDK or later.
At launch, all Apple Watch apps relied on the iPhone to run properly. As of the debut of watchOS 2, Apple offered support for native apps that run completely on the Watch, allowing Watch apps to open and run more quickly, and to operate more efficiently.
watchOS 2 was released last September. As well as offering the ability to create native apps, the new OS allowed developer access to hardware components such as the Digital Crown, Taptic Engine, microphone and loudspeaker. It also allowed creation of custom watch face complications, and support for HealthKit, Apple’s biometric repository, and the ability to read accelerometer functions and the ability to write workout data to the Activity app.
Apple is expected to show off new versions of their watchOS operating system at their WorldWide Developer Conference, beginning June 13th, alongside new versions of iOS, OS X, and tvOS.